450x - Wr450 - Exc450

I've done a fair bit of reading and research on the web, and on this site - Thanks to everyone who contributes for the info. I know all about the technical specs of each machine, however I've not been able to find a review that objectively compares all three machines from an enduro racer or trail rider's perspective.

I'm in Calgary, AB - there may be the occassional trip to the desert, but most riding and virtually all racing will be in the CDN rockies - terrain is cut lines/forest roads, single track, technical climbs, and loose rock. My background includes roadracing, racing motocross and crosscountry. I'm 5'9", 175lbs, fit and have strong technical skills. I've always ridden 2 strokes off-road, but I'm thinking it might be time for a thumper - and, I've been outa the loop for a couple years!

I'd like to make a decision in the next couple weeks so I can get on the bike! Please put in your 2 bits - I'd appreciate it. If you think a bike other than the three I'm thinking about would be better, please include it. Cheers! :naughty:

I cant comment about the exc 450.but I can about the other two. I owned a wr 450 and the honda for me is in such a higher class its un beliveable.everything about is different.go Honda ! :naughty:

I really don't think you can go wrong w/ any of those bikes.I was kinda in the same boat,I had not riden in 3 years and never rode a thumper, one ride on a CRF450r and I knew I would never own another 2 stroke again. I'm a honda guy from way back so I went with the CRF450X but I could have saved a lot of money on the yammy and from the sounds of the 24 hour dirt rider test the ktm is a helluva bike. In a perfect world you could ride all 3 of them back to back and then go w/ your gut feeling, but we all know that is hard to do.

I have a 450r but have ridden all three of these bikes and for I have found the honda to be the best. The suspension and set up on the KTM is top notch and ready out of the box to race. The WR is a great bike but I found came up short when i need the power the most.The suspension on it too felt like it didnt like that fact that i am over 200lbs! Just over that is! The reason i would go with the Honda is for the fact that it is damn close to being race ready(extremely slight mods) and it is just so damn reliable. the KTM always felt to top heavy for me and in corners it felt like it wanted to wash on me alot.My friend also has to tune it up before he rides, alot! Mind you im NO pro just an average Joe. But best bang for the buck goes to the Honda! Remeber just my 2 cents!

I would say all three bikes have their pro's and their con's. The biggest pro for the Yamaha (I've ridden a WR 426) is that it's cheap (you save a lot of money compared to the other two) and it will run forever without needing to see a wrench as much as the others. The con- it will take some time, effort, and money to make it perform at the levels of the competition, because it does need a couple modifications to make it run correctly. It also felt a bit piggish to me, but that is changed a bit in '05.

The Honda. I owned a 250X and the thing was friggin' awesome. I think that is the biggest pro...it's just cool. You will definitely feel more 'comfortable' on it. The con- there is some work involved in getting it race ready (not as much as the yami) and there are reliability issues. While I never experience any problems with my X, it is the thought that always is sticking in the back of your mind which can be disheartening, especially in a race environment. "Is this the race I'm going to blow up like they say I will?!?" Biggest con on the 450X is the price, IMHO.

The KTM. I currently own the KTM...great bike. The pros- EXTREMELY versatile. For a race setting such as the one you described, this bike is ideal. The 6-speed gear box is great for tractor-power 1st and a 6th that will leave most in the dust. The bike never stops. Pretty much comes out of the box ready to race (I like). Throw on some protection, and you're ready to roost. The cons- Parts availability in some areas is vague. Find a good dealer, and you're good to go. The price- the highest of the three, but only $200 more than the CRFX, which pretty much made my decision for me considering what I got.

When it comes down to it, all three bikes are close and it's just a matter of figuring out what's right for you. If you need to have an enono-ride the WR will work fine. The biggest shortcoming with the Honda has nothing to do with the bike itself persay. It's that the MSRP is too high, which means it really can't be competitive with the KTM and all it's high quality standard equipment. I vote KTM, and that is my honest (tried to be non-biased?) opinion.


You left out the best one. Husky TE 450, voted Enduro bike of the year last year by Cycle World. Light weight, good quality, ES (everyone wants this), 6 speeds, good dealerships and great customer service. And good overal powerband for what you listed as your primary riding areas. :naughty: Steny

PS: Not knocking the other brands here. But at $7199 + Tax and maybe frieght for the 450X, the Husky 450 TE is less by several hundred $'s.

I agree with WOOD!! find the one that "FEELS" right when you sit on it and write a check :naughty:

YO SD my 450x was $300 cheaper than any ktm over 400cc what are they selling for by you? you said the KTM was more expensive then the honda then you say you bought the ktm cuz the honda was to expensive what's the dealio? :naughty: lol@ high quality standard equiptment.....you forgot long lasting too,hee hee.....

I have owned two WR400 and a CRF450.


Although the Yam is a good bike, the quality of components is much higher on a CRF. It is also more reliable and in general I like the CRF better, specially concerning brakes and motor.

I have owned two WR400 and a CRF450.


Although the Yam is a good bike, the quality of components is much higher on a CRF. It is also more reliable and in general I like the CRF better, specially concerning brakes and motor.

There os no way you can compare the old WR400 to any new bike. It was a pig. The new WR450is a very good ride.

My45Thumps, In response,

The Honda is less expensive, yes...but being so close to the KTM in price, and considering all the higher quality parts it made my decision for me. Make sense? OK. Sorry if I wasnt clear enough for you on that, and I'm not going to get into a "OMG IM SOOO MUCH BETTER THAN U" debate. It's stupid and it has nothing to do with the topic at hand, which happens to be a discussion on which bike performs best in the said environment. Try and make a positive contribution to the thread. I offered my opinion and left it at that.


WoooHooo! Got a 300EXC - thanks to everyone who contributed, I appreciate the info. The 300EXC I think suits my needs best, it's the bike I first considered, but they were all sold out for the year up here in Alberta. BUT... I found one in Montana, AND they're significantly cheaper in the US than in Canada (even after the exchange rate). Unfortunately, I'm gonna be crazy busy until the end of the month, so I probably won't be able to pick it up 'till May, but at least I got what I wanted!

Cheers! :naughty:


That's one hell of a woods machine.

Keep on ridin'


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